The LIFE VERTALIM project will reduce the pollution load in sewer systems by 30% and integrate waste into urban sanitation systems


The LIFE VERTALIM project aims to alleviate the environmental impact of the waste generated by fish canning plants. The main feature of this effluent is its high organic load—oils, fats and salt—which is in large part what makes it difficult to manage appropriately. This leads to operating issues in wastewater treatment plants (WWTP), where the biological treatment of waste in the WWTP is hindered when all the plants within a particular area discharge their waste at the same time.

This project will enable canning plants to operate more efficiently and productively, and it will also reduce the strain put on water treatment infrastructure by optimizing the operation of urban WWTPs. It is expected that the waste generated at the canning plants and discharged into the environment will be reduced by 30%, that food waste will be reduced by 10% and that canning productivity will be increased by 1%, making the canning sector more sustainable and more competitive.

A remote management system will be designed for and implemented in an urban sanitation system in order to reduce the strain put on water treatment infrastructure. This will make it possible to optimize the automatic operation of wastewater treatment systems and to ensure that water can be returned to the natural environment.

The LIFE VERTALIM project is being led by the Consorcio de Aguas Bilbao Bizkaia, and the technical coordinator is AZTI. Project members include Ceit-IK4 and the canning companies Aguirreoa, Guenaga, Heisa and Marmar. Co-financing is provided by URA, the Basque Water Agency.